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Stupidity Galore About Tyler Lewis In Cameron

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This whole stupid thing about Duke-was-mean-to-Tyler-Lewis is getting out of hand. Aside from the fact that it's not true, that no one on press row heard it, that a reporter from the Technician, the State student paper, said that at best a couple of idiot kids might have yelled something obnoxious and that it wasn't worth worrying about...well aside from that, what there is there? There's no there there.

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It's amazing to us how Duke gets misunderstood, and part of it's willfully. There's a view of the Crazies that sees them all as trust fund babies rather than achievers, which is just not true.

We have no doubt that there are some prosperous families sending their kids to Duke. Nothing wrong with that. We understand Bruce Springsteen's kid is enrolled, and John Cougar Mellencamp's son either is or will be as a football walk-on.

But there are also a lot of kids whose parents either speak with accents or come from not necessarily great backgrounds. In many cases it's taken two or more generations and hard work to get their kids an opportunity at a great education. It should be celebrated, not sneered at.

Secondly, this episode points out to us that Cameron is vastly misunderstood.

The Crazies are in one sense aggressive: they do go after people. In the State game it was Tyler Lewis and, to a lesser extent, Rodney Purvis.

But cheers like "Bilbo Baggins" (directed at Lewis) and "Nervous", directed at Purvis, aren't exactly rough stuff.

Oddly enough, when fans at LSU chanted "faggot" at Christian Laettner, it barely made a wave. When Maryland fans regularly intimidate fans from other schools, it's forgotten.

Yet let one idiot blogger say he heard "how's your grandmother" on TV and it's a national story.

What people who don't spend time in Cameron can't see is that, rather than being a nasty environment, it's more of a carnival atmosphere.

Some people get this and some don't. Jim Valvano got it. When the crowd chanted "sit! sit! sit!" He sat on the floor. He laughed when they chanted "roll over!"

Shammond Williams came over one year and hung out in K-ville with the Crazies and had a great time.

So did the Crazies.

One year when Dennis Scott came, before he lost weight, fans put out a twinkie and challenged him to make a long shot from where the twinkie was. He made it and then ate the twinkie, to the crowd's absolute delight.

One year - we can't remember who this was - a kid with dreads was on the foul line and just before he shot, heard the chant "You shot the sheriff! You shot the sheriff!"

He laughed so hard he had to start over.

We don't at this late date expect everyone to like Duke. Duke stopped being the cute underdog a long time ago. It's not like it was in 1991, when Duke stunningly upset UNLV.

A bit of fairness would be nice though, especially from the media. We saw some sites saying stuff like "judge for yourself," when virtually everyone who was in attendance, fan and media alike said that the cheer was "past your bedtime," not "how's your grandma."

The lack of curiosity is really disappointing. (It reminds us a bit of WRAL, a station eager to report a fatal car-train wreck earlier this week, yet not curious enough to find out that the woman who was in the accident had apparently been indicted for embezzlement. Is it relevant? Does it cast a different light on a witness who said he couldn't understand how it happened? "Her brakes went out or something. It had to be her brakes go out. She just went into it, just went right into the train."

We don't know, but if we can find her mug shot in 30 seconds, you'd think WRAL, where the story is everything, could as well).

It's not hard to get to the bottom of the false story at Cameron; just ask the people who were there. When even State folks say it didn't happen, there's no story. But what the hey, it gets traffic.